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Educational Fabulations

Teaching and Learning for a World Yet to Come

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Employs speculative fiction as a pedagogical tool

  • Draws on speculative fiction and social theory to

  • Features SF stories written by Education scholars to advance thinking in the field

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Educational Futures (PSEF)

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eBook USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-93827-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (29 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxi
  2. Introduction

    • Diane Conrad, Sean Wiebe
    Pages 1-26
  3. The Future of Technology in Education

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 27-27
    2. Ms. Smith Model T4

      • Greg Meyer, Karen Meyer
      Pages 29-40
    3. The Unadorned

      • Rachel Horst
      Pages 41-50
    4. The Time Tumblers

      • Paula Aamli
      Pages 51-64
    5. The Translated-Life Crisis

      • Jason Peppard
      Pages 65-77
    6. Subroutine

      • Robert Christopher Nellis
      Pages 79-87
  4. Corporate Interventions in Education

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 89-89
    2. GRADient

      • Kate Bucca
      Pages 91-100
    3. Barren Harvest

      • Karin Fisher
      Pages 101-111
    4. Hard to Imagine

      • Calley Gresham
      Pages 113-114
    5. The Cutting Room

      • Sean Wiebe
      Pages 115-123
  5. Speculations on Social Issues

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 125-125
    2. Oleanna in the Anthropocene

      • Morna McDermott McNulty
      Pages 127-139
    3. Aliens

      • Nilofar Shidmehr
      Pages 141-152
    4. Life After Death

      • Michael Link
      Pages 153-158
    5. The Past Is Never Past IsNeverPast

      • Shelly Melchior, Maureen A. Flint, Stephanie Anne Shelton, Kelly W. Guyotte
      Pages 159-170
  6. Visions for Curricular Futures

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 171-171
    2. Gerty

      • Christina Cook
      Pages 173-188

About this book

This highly original collection presents speculative fiction as fiction-based research to re-imagine education in the future. Given the particular convergence of economic and governmental pressures in educational institutions today, schools represent imaginative sites especially well-suited to interrogation through an SF lens. The relevance for education of the exploration and interrogation of themes related to technology, human nature, and social organization is evident; yet the speculative fiction approach is unique in its harnessing of creative capacities to envision alternatives. The contributions in this collection are generated from educational experience and research, drawing on scholarship in curriculum studies and teacher education and on the authors' experiences and imaginations as teachers, teacher educators, educational scholars, and human beings. 


  • speculative fiction
  • educational futures
  • posthumanism
  • science fiction
  • technology
  • pandemic
  • storytelling


“Diane Conrad and Sean Wiebe have gathered together a wonderful collection of speculative essays, plays, graphic short stories, and other creative projects to spark the imagination of educators at all levels. This timely collection comes when speculation has been reduced to economic utility and Wall Street, and fiction has been given the dismissive Scarlet letter M, for ‘merely.’ This is not merely useful speculation and fiction. It is mind-altering, consciousness-rattling, and transformative awakening work. We are in desperate need for creative speculative fiction and art because the ‘real world,’ the real danger to our well-being, as constructed by billionaires and Trumpian demagogues, seems too much like a dystopic novel we need to destroy and rebuild. With this collection, let the rebuilding begin! Each chapter is simultaneously a nightmarish scenario of what the current ‘real world’ neoliberal deformers have created for anyone associated with education at all levels of learning, and Edenic alternatives offered by imaginative, creative, humanities-based writers. Teachers, students, and professors need to read this book and break from their chains of economic and political determinism. Choose this blue pill of creativity for the sake of your own imagination. You have nothing to lose but the parasitic capitalists who have weighed you down and stunted your intellectual growth for centuries.”

— John A. Weaver, Georgia Southern University, USA, and author of Science, Democracy, and Curriculum Studies


“A remarkable collection of speculative fiction that is the answer to educator book clubs looking for pathways into dialogue on contemporary dilemmas, researchers and students of qualitative and arts-based inquiry in want of speculative writing samples, and students of the philosophy and cultural studies of education. All too often, students and theorists of educational policy and curriculum are stuck in the present, unable to imagine strategies of social and discursive change; the stories in this collection are the grist of retrodictive curriculum studies: they leap out of the present, into a vision of a future for which the present is a possible history; we can read these trajectories backwards into the activism that would need to happen in order to make the speculation a reality or an avoidable impending doom.”

— Peter Appelbaum, Professor of Education, Arcadia University, USA

“The phrase ‘magical realism’ can obscure the fact that reality is itself magical, a fact to which the editors of and contributors to this astonishing collection testify, and, in so doing, teach us to transcend what we see around and within us. Speculative fiction, it turns out, is not so speculative after all: it is utterly, resoundingly, inspiringly empirical knowledge kept from us no longer. Enter within – the world of education to come.”

— William F. Pinar, Tetsuo Aoki Professor in Curriculum Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada

“This book is a beautifully rendered collection of compelling and thought-provoking stories. This visionary text illustrates how speculative fiction can be used to help us reimagine education. Conrad and Wiebe have assembled an impressive range of contributors, with diverse writing styles, to showcase the power of speculative fiction to question, challenge, and reconstruct what the educational landscape is, how it functions, and what it may become. This is a valuable text for anyone interested in education or creative approaches to research.”

— Patricia Leavy, PhD, author of Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

    Diane Conrad

  • University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada

    Sean Wiebe

About the editors

Diane Conrad is Professor of Drama and Theatre Education at the University of Alberta, Canada. 

Sean Weibe is Professor of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. He teaches courses in multiliteracies, curriculum theory, and critical pedagogy. 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-93827-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)